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WWWW (William Weissbeck)

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Kansas teachers' collective bargaining plan might not satisfy lawmakers

I must be missing something. The current state law that governs "professional negotiations" has been on the books for years/decades. Passed by GOP governors and legislatures (there have hardly been any other). So at one time (presumably when the sun still shined in Kansas), it was OK to negotiate wages and hours. Now the dark forces want to limit that to just wages, which is pretty meaningless without discussing how many hours you have to work.

January 30, 2015 at 8:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas legislative panels to tackle gap in current budget

Diverting money from public pensions? That's what states all across the country did (both GOP and Dem) to do the required balancing of their state budgets. Then guess what happens? Of course the GOP thinks nothing of state workers, so their underfunding of pensions which the state workers don't deserve, is perfectly consistent. What is sad though is that courts are upholding the hypocrisy that states really have no legal authority to promise anything.

January 26, 2015 at 10:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas lawmakers and lobbyists go to work on budget, school funding, Medicaid and more

A state basically does only 4 things - fund public education, care for the poor and mentally ill through Medicaid and a few other programs, build and maintain roads, and police its citizens. You can play 3-card Monte or hide the ball all you want, but at some point there is a dollar figure needed to fund public education for all, to provide basic care for the poor, maintain a road system and pay for a police force and court system. As a state you then have to raise the revenues necessary to carry out these tasks. Passing those costs on to some other taxing authority (local governments) simply abrogates the state's primary duties. It is simply then a means to under fund programs and to carve up the state into little Balkan units, each fighting for what they need, and protecting what they have.

January 19, 2015 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas governor seeks tax increases to address budget woes

Schools have another function that is overlooked and under appreciated. It is where we learn to be social, civic members of the community and country. It is no longer partly met by our religious institutions (our churches), and the military draft is gone. This is why public schools are so much more important than private schooling for all.

January 16, 2015 at 12:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas governor seeks tax increases to address budget woes

Eliminate sales taxes on food, utilities, and gasoline, then maybe a consumption tax makes some sense. It's BS to say that an income tax hurts "productivity." Someone making $100,000 a year is not by definition more productive than someone making only $20,000. The facts of life are that we need government and government runs on taxes. Taxes are a necessity. We can make them "economically fairer," more efficient and less subject to avoidance and manipulation, but taxes are not evil. They are the price we pay for a civilized society.

January 16, 2015 at 10:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas governor seeks tax increases to address budget woes

So does riding in a car with a drunken idiot as a driver. Then again, it's a close call as to which is safer.

January 16, 2015 at 10:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback calls to repeal school finance formula in State of the State address

Rather than comment on the specifics, let's just suffice it by saying, he's an idiot. He like so many of the current crop of GOP governors bemoan the "power grab" by OUR president, yet they spend all their time consolidating more and more power within their own governor's offices. Of course it could be worse. You could live in Indians where we have a $2 billion surplus that is sacred and cannot be touched (even during the Recession). It's there for an emergency they say, even while a local school district had to let go 50 employees because of property tax shortfalls.

January 16, 2015 at 9:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback expected to outline plan for closing budget gaps

Thursday night speech - too late to make the Friday papers in depth, and then the weekend and everyone forgets. This isn't rocket science. A state has very limited responsibilities. They can talk all they want about limited government, but at the state level there really isn't much in the first place. Run a public education system, get basic services to the poor and mentally ill, build and maintain stuff, mostly roads, and exercise policing powers. You have state employees and agencies to carry out these functions. The budget is mostly education, Medicaid and infrastructure. All that any governor can do is either fund these adequately with a reasonable taxing system, or under fund them and claim it's limited government. In Brownback's brain what he really means is No Government. He's shirking his basic responsibilities.

January 15, 2015 at 11:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

K-12 efficiency panel issues final report, recommends regular audits on 'best practices'

That's it? Food service and supplies? Does Dave and the legislature have better things to do than debate how best to provide bosco sticks and whether to shop at Staples or OfficeMax? Western Civilization does not rest upon a local principal's decision to buy from his Main Street store or keep Dorothy employed in the lunchroom.

January 7, 2015 at 8:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas school finance ruling could pave way to overhaul formula

Rick is a smart guy. Smarter than the combined legislature. He should know that giving the legislature the opportunity to change the formula simply gives them the opportunity to hide the money. Until the governor and the legislature acknowledge that the primary function of a state is to provide a public education essentially equal in its resources to all its children such that the need for private education is rare and used by those for reasons other than the quality of the education.

January 2, 2015 at 9:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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